The Book of Common Prayer is used during all services. It tells us that “sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.” The two Gospel or “great Sacraments,” given by Jesus to the Church, are Baptism and Eucharist.
Holy Baptism is the full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit, into Christ’s Body, which is the Church. At baptism, we make promises about how we will live our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. (For children, parents and godparents make promises on their behalf.) God promises us forgiveness of our sins and new life in the Church, through Holy Spirit.
Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper)
The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament Jesus instituted at the Last Supper where he commands us to remember his life, death and resurrection until he comes again. Jesus instituted the practice of Communion at the Last Supper when he took bread and wine, blessed them, and gave them to his disciples. As we do the same, we strengthen our union with Jesus and one another, and share a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. Communion is open to anyone who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is also available for those unable to attend services by contacting the parish office and making arrangements.
In addition to the two sacraments , other sacramental rites and pastoral services came over time as additional means of grace. Like Baptism and Eucharist, they are available to all but are not necessary for all persons in the same way.
Confirmation allows those who have been previously baptized to express their commitment to Jesus Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. Youth are typically prepared through Confirmation classes with confirmation taking place normally in the eighth grade (ages 15-16). In the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, Confirmation is held once per year for the entire diocese. Adults who are interested in being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church should speak with the rector and plan to enroll in the next preparation offering.
This is the sacrament by which two people enter into a life-long union before God, the Church, and others and ask God’s blessing on their life together. Those interested in being married in St. Christopher’s should speak with the rector. A Guideline is available by clicking here.
Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child
This brief service of prayer is offered during a service when a family is present. Please contact the parish office to schedule a time when we can celebrate your good news.
Reconciliation and Confession
This is an opportunity for an individual, when troubled in conscience, to speak with a clergy person and experience together the assurance of God’s pardon and forgiveness. Confession is available to anyone by contacting the rector.
Healing Prayers are available to everyone. The clergy are available to anoint the sick with oil (unction), to offer prayers for those who are ill or about to undergo surgery, or to say prayers at the time of death. In the case of emergency, call the parish office. After hours, the contact information for priest-on-call is on the parish voice mail.
Funerals are offered upon contacting the parish office. The liturgy for the burial of the dead is an Easter liturgy and finds its meaning in the resurrection.